2018 Tax Ratification Election (TRE)
On August 14 our Ector County ISD Board of Trustees adopted a change to the local tax rate that requires voter approval. A Tax Ratification Election – or TRE – has been called for November 6. If passed by voters it will mean an increase in revenue for our school district and an increase in the amount of property taxes paid by the citizens of Ector County.
To understand the purpose of a Tax Ratification Election (TRE) we should start with an explanation of the tax rate.
In Texas, a school district’s tax rate is divided into two separate parts that fund different expenses. The illustration of two buckets is often used for this example:
The first bucket is called Maintenance & Operations or “M&O” for short. The money that comes from this bucket is used for the day-to-day operations of a district. Things like salaries & benefits, supplies, utilities, equipment, vehicles and more.
The second bucket is called Interest & Sinking Fund or “I&S.” You will also hear it referred to as “debt service.” The money from this bucket can only be used for payments on voter-approved bonds. Money from this bucket cannot be used for maintenance and operations.
The state’s public school funding system is made up of a series of complex formulas that take into account the tax rate our local school district establishes for our community. The higher the local M&O tax rate, the more dollars we receive from the state. These formulas include a “balancing” mechanism – and when our local appraisal values rise and our school district gets more money from local property taxes, the state reduces the amount of funding it sends to us.
For the 2017-18 school year ECISD’s M&O tax rate was $1.04 and the I&S tax rate was $0.11 for a total tax rate of $1.15 per each $100 of your home’s appraised value.
For the 2018-19 school year the school board adopted an M&O tax rate of $1.17, a slightly lower I&S tax rate of $0.10957, and a total tax rate of $1.27957.